More than a year after signing an agreement with Quays Hotels Ltd, Wyndham Worldwide has now opened its first managed Ramada hotel in the UK. Construction of the 200-room Ramada Encore Newcastle-Gateshead in the city of Newcastle, northeast England, started in February 2011 and cost £15 million to complete.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has signed a management agreement with an affiliate of Island Hospitality Partners, LLC for Hyatt Place Bayamón and El Tropical Casino. It will be the first Hyatt-branded select service hotel in Puerto Rico and, upon opening, will mark the return of Hyatt-branded hotels to Puerto Rico after a nine year absence. Hyatt Place Bayamón and El Tropical Casino, expected to open in the first quarter of 2014, will be a seven story building offering 156 guestrooms with an adjoining casino, free-standing restaurant and bar, and a multi-level parking garage. The hotel will be located next to the 42-acre Luis A. Ferré Science Park and will also be close to the city’s largest shopping mall. Bayamón is the island’s second most populous city and is located 15 miles southwest of San Juan.
The cutting-edge W Hotel Istanbul unveils a new Restaurant, OKKA. OKKA serves bold Turkish classics, created by master chef Tolga Atalay in a contemporary bistro setting. These include pomegranate marinated chicken, rose petal crème brûleé, fried semolina stuffed with lamb, as well as mezze specialties and 25 variations of kebab. OKKA also offers the widest collection of locally produced wines in Istanbul, and Turkey’s only self-pour Raki service for guests to enjoy the popular Turkish anise-flavoured liquor. In a typical W take on tradition fused with technology, OKKA features the world’s first three-dimensional holographic belly dancer – a futuristic image that contrasts with the restaurant’s burnished leather wallpaper, alabaster marble bar, etched smoked mirror inlays and azure columns.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that an affiliate has signed a management agreement with Hotel De La Paix, Co., Ltd. for the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Cambodia. Under the agreement, Hotel De La Paix Siem Reap, one of the country’s top-rated hotels, will be rebranded as Park Hyatt Siem Reap. The hotel will close on June 30, 2012 for a complete renovation and is expected to open as Park Hyatt Siem Reap in the first quarter of 2013. The property, designed by award-winning Bangkok-based interior designer Bill Bensley, was voted as Cambodia’s No. 1 hotel by Travel + Leisure and ranked No. 29 on its World’s Best Hotels 2010 list. Bensley will oversee the upcoming renovation. Park Hyatt Siem Reap will include 107 guest rooms and suites and features two restaurants, a bar and a retail bakery. The hotel will also feature meeting facilities, a spa, fitness center, and two swimming pools.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced its Aloft® brand will open a new property in Cupertino, California in early 2013. Aloft Cupertino will be the third Aloft to open in California and its second in Silicon Valley, following the opening of Aloft San Francisco Airport in July 2012. Aloft Cupertino will deliver style at a steal with 123 spacious, loft-like rooms, forward-thinking technology and a vibrant, social atmosphere. Located in the heart of Cupertino’s business district, the new Aloft will be convenient to numerous high-tech businesses such as Apple, Hewlett Packard and IBM. Also nearby are Santa Clara University, HP Pavilion, Winchester Mystery House, and a selection of wineries and world-class golf courses. Amenities will include an indoor pool, w xyz sm bar, 24-hour fitness center and 2,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for both business meetings and social gatherings.
The Rezidor Hotel Group is to operate the Okoume Palace Hotel in Libreville, Gabon. Rezidor recently took over the management of the property. Rezidor will operate the property as an unbranded hotel for an interim period while the Okoume Palace Hotel (a former InterContinental Hotel) will undergo an extensive renovation. In September 2013, the hotel will be dual branded – offering a 330 rooms Radisson Blu hotel and a 140 rooms Park Inn by Radisson hotel tower. In addition, the complex will provide 5 restaurants & bars, extensive meeting facilities, a business class lounge, a gym, and an outdoor swimming pool.
De-Thompsonized and Re-Kimptonized 1: Hotel Sax in Chicago, which has been a Thompson for just over two years will turn into a Kimpton Hotel on April 27th. A Thompson source says the Sax was just “not up to brand standards” hence the reason why they took over Sutton Place, which will turn into Thompson Chicago after some renovations. This switch now means Thompson’s standing in the Windy City drops from two back down to one while Kimpton bumps up to five hotels in Chi-town. Meanwhile in Toronto, the Sutton Place Toronto Hotel has closed to be turned into condos.
De-Thompsonized and Re-Kimptonized 2: The Donovan House in Washington, DC will turn into a Kimpton Hotel on April 10. Previously it was managed by Thompson Hotels and apparently is leaving Thompson Hotels for the same reason as the Hotel Sax in Chicago. That’s down to 0 for Thompson in the capital, and up to 8 for Kimpton, not counting another 3 in Alexandria, just over the Virginia border.